Cal Begins 2005 at San Francisco Invitational

Aug. 29, 2005

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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BEARS OPEN SEASON AT USF INVITATIONAL: California opens the 2005 season at the University of San Francisco Invitational Saturday, Sept. 3 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The women's 5K race begins at 9:15 a.m. from Speedway Meadow, and the men's 8K is slated for 10 a.m. from the same location. The field includes Cal, USF, Stanford and Arizona. Cal head coach Tony Sandoval has indicated that he will not be running his top athletes at the season opener.

DUFFY, PARKER LEAD BEAR WOMEN: Junior Bridget Duffy and senior Abby Parker provide a solid one-two punch for Cal after redshirting the 2004 cross country season. Duffy became Cal's first All-American in cross country in five years by placing 42nd at the 2003 NCAA Championships. She has led the Bears in 11 of 12 cross country competitions since her arrival on campus, including eighth place at the 2003 NCAA West Regional and 13th at the Pac-10 meet. As a redshirt during the 2005 track and field campaign, Parker clocked career-best times of 16:40 in the 5000 meters at the Stanford Invitational and 10:37 in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. In 2003, she was the Bears' second-best performer at the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships (41st, 23:47).

OTHERS TO WATCH FOR CAL WOMEN: Leadership is also expected from senior Maja Ruznic, who paced the Bears at the 2004 NCAA West Regional (60th, 22:09). Freshmen Gabriela Rios-Sotelo (Berkeley, Calif.) and Mackenzie Pierce (Pffafftown, N.C.) should have an immediate impact. Rios-Sotelo was the 2004 state runner-up in cross country, and Pierce is a two-time Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year for North Carolina.

DAVIS, GHEBRAY LEAD CAL MEN: Seniors Kevin Davis and Giliat Ghebray look to lead a freshman-dominated team. Five of Cal's top eight runners are expected to be true or redshirt freshmen. Davis was the Bears' second-fastest runner at the Pac-10 Championships as a junior, finishing 33rd in a time of 25:33. He also posted Cal's third-best performance at the 2004 NCAA West Regional, placing 53rd (31:52). Ghebray led Cal at the Roy Griak Invitational and the Penn State Invitational last season and recorded the Bears' second-best time at the NCAA West Regional (52nd, 31:50).

MATUSAK, GHEBRAY, SCHMITT PROPEL CAL TO NO. 1 RECRUIT RANKING: Cal earned the No. 1 recruiting class in the state of California, according to DyeStatCal, by signing three Footlocker finalists in Mark Matusak (Torrance, Calif.), Yosef Ghebray (Union City, Calif.) and Jake Schmitt (Kentfield, Calif.). Matusak finished third at the 2004 Footlocker Nationals, while Schmitt placed 19th and Ghebray (younger brother of Giliat) took 27th.

2004 IN REVIEW: The Cal men placed ninth at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships in Golden Gate Park and finished 12th at the NCAA West Regional. Girmay Guangul, who has finished his eligibility, led Cal at the conference meet (17th, 24:56) and at the regional (30th, 31:20). The Cal women finished ninth at the Pac-10 Championships. Lindsay Maclise, who was a senior last season, paced Cal at the Pac-10 Championships by placing 40th (22:24). Maclise and Ruznic were the only Bear women to compete at regionals due to injuries.

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